BPTV to continue trials in the UK

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

British Petroleum’s Innovations Group has been working with StoreCast Media (part of CAN Media) and the Hughes Satellite folks on a BPTV trial in three petrol filling stations, one in Derbyshire and two in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire for 6 months or so now.

It looks like the trial is going to continue for a little while longer and grow to include 7 sites in total.

Everyone involved in this to date has pretty much kept their heads down and apart from the obligatory press release (Scala provide the software) little has been said about the trial within our industry. This is a real shame as BP have been involved in some really good innovations in their Petrol Forecourt business over the last few years; Internet Kiosks and the excellent Wild Bean Cafes spring to mind.

The first 3 BPTV trial sites have screens located in the filling station itself (so much more like a convenience store sell than anything else). As a business model this makes a lot of sense. The Big Media Group, see http://www.bigmediagroup.com already have 250 independent Petrol Stations with screens inside.

However I hear that with some of the new sites, the Innovation folks are going to try screens on the forecourt itself – i.e at the pump.

Remember the ill-fated (from the outset) ForecourtTV project of, oh so many years ago now!!!

What madness I think to add something so similar (again)!! I was told that the pump / forecourt screens were to be small and with directed sound so that they would not be intrusive, loud and ugly like the large CRTs of ForecourtTV but I’m sorry have we as an industry learnt nothing?

If you have a captive audience then by all means; captivate, entertain and advertise but don’t try to aggressively CAPTURE an audience when the last thing the audience wants to do (in this instance) is stand there (in the UK at the moment either in extremes of pouring rain or blazing hot sunshine), with the smell of petrol and diesel and be ‘blared’ at – however local the content or sound might be!

BPTV also has that favourite content strand of mine, which we know works so well (not) …

…content is provided by the BBC, the Met Office’s weather-forecasting service, and Trafficlink.

(Weather!!!) 😉

Now, if BP added free wireless (Wi-Fi) to the mix plusscreens inside the forecourt (and the coffee) and screen based calls to action then even though I don’t like the name BPTV (why not BP ScreenMedia, BP Media, or BP MediaMix), as a network with consumers, brands and media buyers they might be onto something!

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